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Old January 17, 2012, 03:53 PM   #1
Hibby
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Reloading Suggestions for the .40 S&W

I used to reload handgun cartridges extensively, and eventually got away from it as more foolish pursuits took my time (i.e. career). I am having a mid-life crisis and it occurred to me that I don't like sports cars and I love my wife.

As a result, I have decided to rebuild my weapons cache, but since I am not working as much, I have decided to save money and waste time by reloading. Since I shoot my Sig Sauer p226 .40 most frequently, I thought I'd begin with that round.

I've started saving money by ordering a custom reloading bench, and I have put together a Dillon 650 XL package (although not ordered yet). I will eventually expand to reload for the following:

Hangun:
9 mm
.38/.357
.45 ACP

Rifle
5.56/.223
.300 WSM
.45-70

I would love to hear recommendations on best powders, primers, brass, and bullets (focusing on the .40 for now), knowing that an ideal powder might be usable on more than one handgun round.

I spend time at the range, and love to challenge myself with being very accurate. However, I have also started to shoot IDPA matches recently, and would assume that my loads would be different for that purpose.

Thoughts?
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Old January 17, 2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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Are you shooting the .40 at "major" or "minor" power level in IDPA? That will make some difference in recommendations for best powder and bullet weight.

You could also go here, join tht forum, go to the reloading section and ask the IDPA shooters: http://idpaforum.yuku.com/ .

One thing to avoid is Remington brass. It has a tendency to be thin and that can make bullets loose in their cases. That may allow bullet setback from the feed cycle, which can drastically raise pressures, potentially damaging the gun and you.

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Old January 17, 2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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My experience with once-fired Federal, Winchester, CCI and Speer brass has been very good.

I typically use Federal, Winchester, or CCI primers - based on availability. Stay away from Wolf.

After shooting cast lead, I have moved to Berry's plated bullets for .380, .40 and .45 - no lead fouling, only marginally more expensive than cast lead. Berry's Mfg tells you to load toward the mid-range for jacketed bullets of similar weight.

I personally shoot the 180 gr. flat point Berry's plated at the mid-range for the same weight jacketed bullet.

For powder, I use Hodgdon Titegroup for all my pistol loads. Some complain about the fact that it does not fill the case enough to avoid double charging. However, I have never had that problem - I reload on a turret press, and visually inspect all charged cases before seating bullets. Since you're using a progressive, you may want to invest in a powder check station, regardless of which powder you use.
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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SL1 - thanks for the IDPA link... I would imagine I will be shooting light loads since my goal is not so much to be a top competitor as it is to hone my skills. Interesting comment on Remington brass; I have never been fond of Remington's factory ammo, although the reasons have varied with each gun. I'll keep that in mind!

Spammy H - part of my decision to go with the 650 instead of the 550 was so I could have the powder check station. A long time ago when my wisdom and attention span were less than they should be, I double-charged a round and didn't know it until I fired it through the gun. Fortunately, it was a .38 round in my .357 and no harm was done; I got lucky.

Is WW 231 still considered to be a versatile, clean powder for handgun loads? How would you compare it to Hodgdon Titegroup?
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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I know that many reload with 231, however, I don't have personal experience with it. Perhaps others can chime in.
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Supplier?

And who do you recommend as a supplier?

Midway?

Cabelas?

Direct?
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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OK, I see that Berrys ships free on orders over $100, and 1000 rounds is $115. That's pretty tough to beat, yes?
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Old January 17, 2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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I'll buy the bullets directly from Berry's, just like you said.

Powder and primers - Midway is usually pretty tough to beat, but I'm cheap and shop around every time I put together an order. I've ordered from Midway, Cabellas, and others, depending upon availability and pricing.

You probably already know this, but the hazmat fees can add up if you're not careful. If you have a local source for powder and primers, even if they're more expensive initially, they can save you on the hazmat fees, unless you buy in quantity.
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Old January 17, 2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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Midway is tough to beat??? LOL Yes they have a large selection but the prices are not usually all that good. Nor is the shipping costs they charge.

For powder and primers shop at Powder Valley.

I was just at Cabelas a day ago and shotgun primers were $45 per 1k! CCI Small rifle primers were $36! I came home and placed my order online at Powder Valley. Winchester Shotgun primers $27.50 per 1k and Herco powder $13.83 per pound (when ordering 4lbs). Even with the added Hazmat fee I was able to buy 100 Nosler 60g .22cal and 250 Nosler 9mm HP bullets with the savings.
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Old January 17, 2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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Xfire68, thanks! I am not familiar with Powder Valley, but I will check them out.

I live in Michigan, and there is a Cabelas about 2 hours from my home... I find my way over there every now and then to spend some of the points I earn on my Cabelas Visa. I still have to pay 6% Michigan sales tax, but with some of the coupons they send out and no shipping charges (just $200 in fuel to make the drive), as well as "free points", it might still work out.

I have caught some good sale prices on 5.56 factory ammo through Midway, and they were lightning fast with delivery. Even with shipping it came out to about 37 cents per round. However, that's the only thing I have ordered through them.
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Old January 17, 2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Hibby, Powder Valley is in the"Reloaders" top 10 list of places to get great prices and excellent service. Ask around on these forums and you will see that there are a number of happy campers that shop at Powder Valley.

I go to the Hammond IN. Cabelas at least once a month and if it were not for the jump in prices on reloading components I would buy my stuff there as well. BUT............... Cabelas prices are not just a little high on the reloading items they are stupid high! Almost double the cost on 1k of shotgun primers which the price difference on that alone almost pays for the HAZMAT fee.

The only way you can make out at Cabelas is if you have some serious points on that Visa and a big coupon?

I placed a order at Powder Valley on Monday for :
1 ALLIANT HERCO - 4 LB. 55.35
2 NOS16316 NOS .224 60 GR SPT PARTITION (50) $34.00
1 NOS43123 NOSLER 9MM / .355 124 GR. JHP (250) $34.36
2 WINW209 * WIN #209 SHOTSHELL PRIMERS (1000) $55.90

Subtotal $179.61
Insurance 0.50
Additional Hazardous Material Shipping Charge $27.50
Total=$221.72

The same items at Cabelas Totaled $318.86! That is a big difference.
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Old January 22, 2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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I have been getting Berry's bullets through powder valley cheaper than ordering them through Berry's direct. So if you're making a Powder Valley order anyway...

I've mentioned this on a couple other threads but not everyone reads them all so please excuse me if it seems I am making redundant posts. I'm all about saving a few $$$
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Old January 24, 2012, 10:28 PM   #13
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Sounds like Powder Valley is the place to be.... I appreciate the advice! And that means I can save the Cabelas points for other stuff. I've always got a running wishlist.
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